Can I Build an Addition on My House?
Additions can be an enormous undertaking that takes both your time and money, so it is best left in the hands of professionals with appropriate tools, expertise, and skillsets. Before any physical construction commences, ensure your
Additions can be an enormous undertaking that takes both your time and money, so it is best left in the hands of professionals with appropriate tools, expertise, and skillsets.
Before any physical construction commences, ensure your contractor understands and can obtain all of the required permits from local zoning regulations and can obtain all of them before beginning to plan where you will live during this process.
Getting a Permit
An addition that’s thoughtfully planned will not only increase your house’s value but will also make it more usable, giving space for family and friends to gather or for children to play. Before commencing construction work on an addition, however, make sure that a permit has been secured as building without one is illegal and could result in serious penalties.
If you are uncertain if a permit is needed for your project, reach out to your local building department. Many municipalities offer hotlines dedicated to answering such inquiries at no cost and will often conduct free courtesy inspections at your house where an inspector will look over your plans, discuss potential impacts of work on you and request additional information if needed.
Permitting can be time-consuming and costly, but failing to obtain one is far more than just costly: unpermitted construction puts you and your family at risk from fire hazards and plumbing issues, while negatively affecting the value of your house (potential buyers might not offer top dollar for properties with unpermitted remodeling or addition).
Even if you don’t plan on selling any time soon, it is still advisable to ensure that any addition you are undertaking has the proper permits and approvals in place. A licensed architect or engineer can take your sketches and turn them into functional blueprints – saving both you and your budget the stress and expense of doing it all yourself or hiring someone who may cut corners in order to save costs.
An addition is one of the main reasons people build one; particularly if their current house has become too small. Perhaps your children have outgrown their space or you need a master suite; either way, an addition may be an ideal solution as it costs much less than purchasing another home and spares you the hassles associated with moving, finding an appropriate neighborhood, and enrolling your kids into new schools.
Note that it can be challenging to live in your house during construction; it can be noisy and disruptive with workers wandering through living spaces and dumpsters piled up on driveways. Without modular housing or addition built over non-living spaces, your family may need to find alternative accommodation while the work takes place.
Designing the Addition
No matter if it’s due to outgrowing bedrooms or expanding into an extra master suite, adding space may be your solution for meeting your home’s space requirements. But before diving in with plans and contractors, many factors should be taken into consideration beforehand. It would be advisable to contact your local building authority first in order to understand which zoning laws pertain to your property as well as how much can be built there.
Once you have your permit, the next step in your project can begin: laying out the foundation. There are two approaches you can take when adding rooms: up or out. Going up may be less expensive and may even be necessary on smaller properties; additionally, it takes advantage of your existing roofline without impacting curb appeal in your neighborhood; however, it also presents structural challenges.
Those pursuing the up route would benefit from consulting with a design-and-build contractor to better understand their options and the costs associated with them. A contractor would be able to assess your property, identify what can and cannot be done with existing structures, as well as providing estimates for either building up or out.
Once the foundation is in, it’s time to begin framing your room. Careful planning of joists will ensure they span appropriately and remain strong; an online calculator such as Joist Span Calculator can be used to ensure this.
The addition of a second floor is a large project, so being part of it as much as possible is key for its successful completion. Being involved will allow you to schedule the work efficiently, understand how your contractors are performing their duties, and have an increased understanding of what needs to be done yourself if this option interests you.
Homeowners who take an active part in overseeing construction will find they can shorten the time it takes contractors to finish the work, saving both labor and materials costs. Furthermore, having a plan in place in case unexpected problems such as weather delays or additional materials arise is also crucial.
Building the Addition
Home additions add another level of complexity when building a house, from adding extra bedrooms, bathrooms, or living space. A comprehensive planning process must take place to ensure the new addition meets both functional and aesthetic criteria. A home addition could range from something as straightforward as adding a bump out or as involved as building two-story structures; therefore it is crucial that professionals in home construction consult on how best to proceed with any specific type of project.
An architect should be hired when conducting any home addition that significantly alters room flow or makes significant structural modifications to your foundation or roof, but in most cases, general contractors can handle additions provided they conform with local zoning codes and don’t necessitate major structural alterations to your existing home.
One of the key steps in building a house addition is making sure you can afford it. While costs for home additions vary depending on what kind of structure is being constructed, you should ensure your budget for this project is realistic before embarking on its construction. Consult a mortgage professional as well to explore possible funding solutions.
People often dream of adding an additional room to their home for various purposes. Perhaps they require dedicated office space, an expanded kitchen, or more storage for gym equipment and photo albums which accumulate over time – adding another room can solve these issues while increasing property values as well.
Before embarking on any home addition projects, it is a good idea to visit your city hall to become familiar with local zoning laws. These will determine where and how large an addition you can build, as well as whether or not it is feasible.
Once you’ve met with a design expert, sketch some ideas for your new addition. Consider its relationship to your existing house and decide whether or not the design should remain consistent or differ in some way from its current form. By making these decisions early in the process, your builder can give an accurate cost estimate.
Finishing the Addition
Additions can provide the extra space you require without the hassle and expense of moving, as well as increasing its resale value. But the process takes time and patience, so finding a trustworthy contractor to build your addition successfully and meet its deadlines for completion can be essential to its success.
An initial preconstruction meeting gives you and your build team a chance to get acquainted and discuss the project, answer any questions, and address any house rules for the construction site.
Your contractor will then prepare the site for construction, which may involve digging out part of your yard, demolishing existing structures, removing fences or obstructions, and stripping down to bare dirt before using heavy equipment to create an even foundation area for your addition.
Once the concrete has set and dried, framing can start. A crew will erect walls for your addition and build a roof before plumbing and electrical are installed.
Integrating your new addition is of utmost importance for its successful completion. An architect or designer with experience can ensure your new spaces seem part of the house from day one, rather than looking like add-ons. Your build team should also strive to incorporate its exterior with the scale and style of its neighborhood.
Insulation will then be installed, followed by drywalling. After that, your build team will complete rough carpentry before starting on any custom features that have been requested by you.
By the final week, your addition should have taken shape and you’ll be able to take a tour through it and see its progress. Your contractor will address any items on your punch list or any issues encountered during construction that remain.
Experienced building contractors can assist in designing and planning your addition, obtaining all required permits, and making sure it adheres to Seattle’s residential, building, zoning, electrical, land use, environmental shoreline, and mechanical codes as well as energy efficiency ventilation water conservation regulations.